A CYCLIST aiming to raise £5,000 in memory of a pal had his dreams shattered by a hit and run driver.
Anthony Hudson, of Ashbrooke, was out training for the ride from Newcastle to London when he was hit by a Citroen Picasso.
He was due to start the 300-mile event on August 24 in honour of fellow cyclist Dave Hargrave, 36, who died from a heart attack as he rode home from work in October 2011.
But his hopes were shattered when he was flung several feet into the air, narrowly missing a lamppost, before landing on the road, badly breaking his leg.
Driver Allan Connor fled the scene leaving 26-year-old Anthony lying in the road in agony.
He was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital, where he spent six nights and was told the break to his shin could take up to year to heal.
He will also need months of physiotherapy once his fifth cast is taken off any day now.
Connor, 68, of Appleforth Avenue, Grangetown, has pleaded guilty to failing to stop after an accident and driving without due care and attention, and will be sentenced by Sunderland magistrates later this month.
Anthony said: “He ploughed straight into me and didn’t stop.
“There were people by me straight away. I can remember everything, sadly. It was the worst pain I’ve ever felt.
“I know where I hit the car. I can remember him heading towards me.
“If I had swerved left a little more I might have missed the car, but I would have gone into a lamppost.
“Despite the severity of my injuries, it could have been a lot worse.”
Anthony was training on Warwick Terrace in Silksworth, at about 10.55pm, on June 24, when Connor hit him.
He was hoping to raise £5,000 for charity Cardiac Risk in the Young in memory of Dave, with whom he had cycled to the capital in 34 hours three years ago.
Instead, Anthony was left having to wave off others taking part in the ride organised by RIDEUK 24.
“It was exactly three years to the day since me and Dave arrived in London,” he said.
“It was the same bank holiday weekend. That was the hardest day of all.”
The accident has devastated Anthony’s career as a self-employed personal trainer, and left him thousands of pounds out of pocket.
But he is determined to build up his strength to complete the bike ride in memory of his friend, next year.
“I’m hoping there is no permanent damage done and that I make a full recovery in time,” he added.